Chamber will be built; if not today, it’ll be tomorrow – NPP Chairman
Chairman of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), Freddie Blay, has insisted, the controversial plan to build a new Parliament has only been frozen but not discarded.
He told a pool of reporters following the angry public reaction to the plan, government and Parliament would need to restrategise on the construction of the new complex for the Legislature, which was expected to commence by the end of the year.
“Maybe we need to as it is, analyse it, interrogate it, and see the way forward if not today it will be tomorrow. It will have to happen.”
He chalked down the public reaction to the timing of the announcement by the Speaker of Parliament who outdoored the model Parliamentary complex June 28, 2019.
Freddie Blay who is a former Deputy Speaker of Parliament said, the “packaging” of the plan was also problematic.
It was the Majority Leader, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, who was at the forefront of advocacy for the new chamber explaining, Parliament’s current building at the State House was not purpose-built for the Legislature.
He said the 275-seater chamber was congested, making it difficult to see some MPs who sat behind huge columns. He also expressed worry about the porous security MPs and the Speaker have had to countenance.
NPP MP for Asokwa MP, K.T Hammond, also complained on JoyNews TV’s PM Express programme on Tuesday July 8, there is too much pressure on the few amenities in Parliament.
For example, MPs share toilet facilities with every other visitors or staff of Parliament.
Freddie Blay insisted the new chamber is important for strengthening institutions such as the Legislature.
“Let me be very honest with you, some of such initiatives we need to look at it [again].”
He said initiatives like the Akosombo Dam, the Tema Harbour and “even the Jubilee House” were resisted.
The politician, sharing his travelling experience said, in countries like Australia, Canada and Uganda, Parliament was housed properly in specially demarcated areas commonly called a Parliamentary Village.
Ghana needs to follow such examples, he said and stated, it is the responsibility of government to fund the building of a new chamber.